A million-pound project to transform former butchers into a community hub in Colchester city centre is nearing completion. As a new home for Level Best Enterprises, the renovation and expansion will include an art gallery, studio, and community café.
Founded in 2008 by the charity the Dacon Trust, Level Best Enterprises provides valuable life and work experience for young people and adults with learning disabilities through specialised training in its four separate business projects: Art, Gardening, Seasonal, and Cafe.
As well as opening new opportunities for trainees, the new hub will have space for exhibiting artists in an exciting new gallery space, as well as workshop space, a meeting room and a café serving a range of affordable home-cooked lunches, cakes, and snacks.
After experiencing a high demand for its services, Level Best purchased the former Gellers Butchers site in 2019 and applied for permission to renovate and extend the building to meet a growing need for its services. With over 60 trainees visiting Level Best and delivering over 110 sessions a week, its current café and workshop space at Darcy House in Culver Street East limits its full capacity, and the current layout restricts customers from visiting the café and purchasing seasonal produce.
Alison Ling, Manager at Level Best Enterprises said; “At Level Best, we’re passionate about providing high-quality enterprise training which is why we make sure our trainees are at the heart of what we do.
“This project, which will enable us to extend our service to more trainees, is not only just for Level Best but for the whole of Colchester. Everyone is welcome in our space, and we wish to encourage artists of any ability to display their art in our gallery and encourage people to pop in for a coffee. We’d love to welcome everyone with open arms.”
The current site will remain open until the new building opens, which is scheduled for February 2023. To find out more or to get involved visit http://www.dacontrust.co.uk/.